The list of celebrity cameo appearances on The Simpsons is mind-boggling. The cartoon series has had guests on the show in legendary athletes like Magic Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr, and Joe Namath, actors like Meryl Streep and Jeff Goldblum, and even artists in U2, Smashing Pumpkins, and The Ramones. And that’s just a selection of guests from the first nine seasons (the ones that really matter; don’t @ me) because in the decades since, The Simpsons has leaned even more heavily into its celebrity cameos. So much so, that executive producer and writer Al Jean says that it “astounds” him how many celebrities say yes to being on the show.
But that doesn’t mean that Jean and the rest of the team behind The Simpsons don’t have dreams of who they could and could’ve once had on the show. As reported by Bloomberg, Jean told PA Media that, “Many of the ones that I’d say would be a dream are never going to be on, like John Lennon or Neil Armstrong.” He also added that they had tried to get, “…A few US presidents, not recently, and they said no so that was the sort of like the Holy Grail we never found.”
Armstrong died in 2012 and Lennon in 1980, explaining the impossibility of any future appearances from either. But considering Paul McCartney made an appearance on The Simpsons (enlightening Lisa to the finer points of being a vegetarian) and Ringo Starr had an entire episode centered around Marge’s paintings of him (which also saw George Harrison make a cameo) it’s understandable why the fourth Beatle would seem like a Holy Grail of sorts for Jean too. For now, we’ll have to get by on Barney Gumble’s interpretation of the John Lennon way in the classic Homer’s Barbershop Quartet.